DID YOU READ

Welcome to the Automat: The Larry Sanders Show

Larry-Sanders-Show

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Before Girls or Curb Your Enthusiasm or Flight of the Conchords, there was The Larry Sanders Show. It was the seminal HBO comedy in the 90s filled with razor-sharp satire that skewered Hollywood while letting everyone in on the joke. It starred Garry Shandling as the vain and neurotic talk show host Larry Sanders with Jeffrey Tambor as his hapless and somewhat clueless sidekick Hank. The satirical sitcom focused on the behind-the-scenes action of running a hit late night TV show, including the writers (Jeremy Piven, Sarah Silverman), producers (Rip Torn), bookers (Janeane Garofalo, Mary Lynn Rajskub), and agents (Bob Odenkirk). Among the show’s many highlights are the celebrity guests who stop by the set to play self-parodying versions of themselves, including Farrah Fawcett, Janet Jackson, Robin Williams, Drew Barrymore, Beck, and Jerry Seinfeld. The show is truly great, which is why we’re excited to be airing it during The Automat, the DVR-friendly early morning time slot. Tune in tomorrow to The Larry Sanders Show at 5 a.m. ET/4 a.m. CT and check the schedule for other showtimes.

But why take our word for it? Here are Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, and Judd Apatow on what made the Larry Sanders Show so great:

Bob Odenkirk

Sarah Silverman

Andy Dick

Judd Apatow

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The Larry Sanders Show airs tomorrow at 5 a.m. ET. Check the schedule for other showtimes.

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

What to watch on IFC: November 12-18

this-is-only-a-test_emergency_broadcast_system2

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If you still have an election hangover or are just anxiously biding time until Thanksgiving we have all the movies you’re going to need to help get you through. From “The Spirit” to “Edward Scissorhands” to “Transporter 3″ we have something for everyone.

Here’s what to watch this week on IFC:

Monday

Start the week out right by staring deep into the limpid pools of Nicolas Cage’s eyes. We’re showing “Lord of War” at 8/7c and you can make eyes at Cage as he plays an arms dealer who is trying to stay one step ahead of his business rival while being pursued by a relentless Interpol agent (Ethan Hawke) who is determined to track him down. No wonder those eyes look so so sad.

Tuesday

We all know that Tuesday is just another Monday in disguise, but we have just the cure: A double dose of Jason Statham. Starting at 8/7c we have back to back showings of the “Transporter 3″ where you can watch Statham reprise his role as Frank Martin the in-demand driver for those who just can’t work with Fed Ex.

Wednesday

It’s the end of the world as the Mayans know it, and they don’t feel fine at all. We’re showing “Apocalypto” at 8/7c and as the end of the Mayan civilization draws near, a man makes a desperate bid to escape being a human sacrifice and return to his family and the woman he loves.

Thursday

We’re showing “The Spirit” at 8/7c. Watch as Denny Colt (Gabriel Macht) a highly decorated cop who was gunned down on the job is resurrected as The Spirit, a masked crimefighter sporting a startling red tie and a superhuman resistance to pain and injury. He faces off against a villain known as the Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson) in this adaptation of Will Eisner’s comic.

Friday

Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands” airs tonight at 10:30/9:30c. Johnny Depp stars as a deceased inventor’s (Vincent Price in his last role) unfinished creation with scissors for hands and pasty pallor. When the Avon lady comes calling, Edward becomes an instant celebrity when the cheery suburbanite (Dianne Wiest) brings him home.

Saturday

Kiera Knightley stars as a teenage soccer player in “Bend It Like Beckham” at 5:30PM/4:30c. The movie focuses on Parminder Nagra as an Anglo-Indian teenager who just wants to kick a soccer ball and joins a soccer team despite the fact that her tradition-minded parents are opposed to it.

Sunday

Spend your Sunday laughing when we show back-to-back episodes of Bunk, our hilarious game show where the winner is the comedian-contestant who makes the audience –or at least host Kurt Braunohler– laugh the loudest. The fun and games start at 10:15 a.m./9:15CT.

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What to watch tonight: “Star Trek: Generations”

star-trek-generations-soundtrack

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When it comes to Star Trek fandom there are generally two camps, those supporting the OG Enterprise captain James T. Kirk and those in favor of new school upstart Captain Jean-Luc Picard who helmed the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Who’s better? It’s a real stumper:

While some cite actor Sir Patrick Stewart’s superior Royal Shakespeare Company-honed acting skills as they translate into the demeanor of Captain Picard, fans of William Shatner’s school of acting know that more is always better. Shatner’s mad skills even get their own animated treatment. Whichever camp you fall into, you’re going to want to watch “Star Trek: Generations” tonight at 8/7c when both captains team up to fight Dr. Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell), a rogue scientist who”s willing to destroy planets in order to return to the Nexus, an energy ribbon. That’s right two captains.

In the words of Wesley Crusher (a.k.a. @wilw)

You said it, Wesley. But Data said it better:

Now, why does that sound so familiar? Oh yeah.

Want the latest news from IFC? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @ifctv.

“Star Trek: Generations” airs tonight at 8/7c; Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12:30 AM ET; Saturday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 PM ET; Sunday, Nov. 11 at 3:00 PM ET; Monday, Nov. 19 at 12:15 AM ET; Thursday, Nov. 29 at 1:00 AM ET

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